I was asked, “How do you start a College & Career Class?”
Normally I would not have had any idea but a few months ago we began a College & Career aged class and here are some things we did before we got started. While we are not long-term teachers of this age group, we have had regular attenders and slow growth. We only know how to do what has worked for us, so if these things are not beneficial for you or your church, then there are lots of other ideas out there that will fit in the Biblical way of church life.
- Talk to your pastor and get his approval for the class. Find out his vision for your class and the type of goals he has for your class. Determine the age group of your class with your pastor. Some classes range from 18-25, others go all the way up to age 30.
- Begin gauging interest in the people in your church and other people in your age group. Look for: Former members and regular attenders that have not attended your church in a while. Young adults that have scattered within the church attending other classes, staying in the youth group (those who have graduated early may stay in the youth group because they have nowhere else to go). Family members or friends of church members that might be looking for a college & career class and interested in Christian fellowship. People you run into in your community as you are out and about. Make a list of these people and use them for your prospect list.
- Visit your prospects at home or by calling them, etc. If people are interested in visiting the class, then go ahead with other plans to go forward.
- Schedule a class start date.
- Find a place within your church to meet. Prepare that location by cleaning it up, painting if necessary, find chairs, tables, curtains, etc. Make sure you create an atmosphere for young adults to feel comfortable.
- Choose class name and logo if possible. The name and logo will be like your brand that goes on everything to help be your identifying mark for your class. Put your logo and name all over every letterhead, postcard, and artwork that will hang in your classroom.
- Write a letter to all of your prospects weeks before your start date, even if you have made an initial contact with them. Tell them what your plans are for the class, explain a bit about yourself, and encourage them to contact you if they have any questions or ideas.
- Announce your class and its plans before the church regularly so that they can help you and pray for you as you begin. If possible, have an announcement in your bulletin and on your church calendar.
- Begin praying about and planning the first lessons you want to teach your class.
- Make visits and phone calls the day before your class start date.
- Make final preparations for your classroom and prepare a snack or breakfast item for your first meeting. Consider having an ice breaker between your class members so they can get to know one another first thing.
- Make everyone feel welcome as they enter your classroom.
- Generate a heart for the people in your class. Some that will come to try the class out will not stay, but others will. Encourage your classmates to invite friends to come with them. Most people will stay in a class because of the teacher (and his wife), be the kind of teacher you would like to have, with a gentle spirit and understanding heart, and a manner about you that easily conveys the message God lies on your heart to teach them. Allow them to share prayer requests, ask questions, and be there for them if they need you.
Developing a God-centered College & Career class will take time, prayer, dedication, and effort, but these are our helps in a nutshell. There are many other good resources that will help you on the web, in books, and even from people who have taught their own College & Career class. If you have any other ideas or thoughts please do not hesitate to leave a comment.
There is some good advice both spiritually and practical found on this webpage about starting a new adult class. http://www.sschool.com/content/adultstart.htm *
*Please note that I do not wholly agree with everything that is on every website that I suggest to be a help to you and your ministry but I believe this article has enough helpful information to be a benefit to you.